Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas are not only provided the sporting climax of the first day at the US Open with their five-set battle, they also provided an excitement. It was “a bloody joke”, Murray fumed after Tsitsipas had taken a long time before the last set on his break. An absurdity? No, says former champion Mats Wilander at Eurosport.
Andrew Barron Murray was upset; he didn’t like what happened before the beginning of the fifth set.
He had stood up to the favored Stefanos Tsitsipas for almost four hours and at times reminded him of his old class. And then this young Greek disappeared for a full seven minutes into the catacombs of Arthur Ashe Stadium. To change, to relax.
“It never took me so long to go to the bathroom,” complained Murray, suspecting that Tsitsipas was taking so long for tactical reasons.
A point of view that Mats Wilander shares in principle.
Wilander: Nadal and Djokovic are also expanding the regulations
“All top players sometimes stretch the rules, not necessarily on purpose. But that’s the business. Nadal sometimes takes too long, Djokovic takes a few medical timeouts. McEnroe was shouting, Connors had his special way. Champions do that”, so the seven-time Grand Slam tournament winner from Sweden. Murray let himself be “drawn too much into the situation”.
Tsitsipas was in no hurry even after his return to the field , conceded a time violation – before he won the set with 6: 4 and thus the match.
Understandably, Murray didn’t taste it at all. The 2012 US Open Champion made it clear that his opponent’s behavior was “a damn joke”.
Tsitsipas: “Didn’t break the rules”
“I don’t think I’ve broken the rules. As long as I stick to the rules and what the ATP claims to be fair, everything is fine,” said Tsitsipas at the press conference after the match.
Murray felt disadvantaged nonetheless.
“When you play a brutal match like this, you cool off after seven or eight minutes. You can prepare yourself mentally as much as you want, but the fact is that if you play that long and paused several times during the game, “complained the 34-year-old.
Wilander: Murray not strong enough in the end
Wilander sees it less dramatically. “It irritated Andy, he couldn’t just let it happen. I’m not really sure that the scene had a decisive influence on the outcome of the game.” Tsitsipas just “sweated a lot” and therefore had to change. “Some people can do it in less than seven minutes, others need more time.”
Murray enthused him in terms of sport. “I was pleasantly surprised that it was so good,” says Wilander. The match still found the right winner. “Was Murray strong enough to win? No, he wasn’t in the end. But he’s on a very good path.”
But it will certainly take a few days before Sir Andy can see it that way …